Get ready to get down and dirty with author L.A. Lewis. I recently spoke to her about her latest release.
Tell me about your book, Double Down and Dirty.
Double Down and Dirty explores the eventful life of Jade Bordeaux. Jade escaped her Southern Baptist family and moved to New York because she knew they would never respect her lifestyle choices and a very dark secret that she knew would only stay hidden for so long, especially since her former friend was threating to expose her. Jade moved to New York, which proved to be one of the best decisions she’d made—or so she thought. Initially, the Big Apple and her new modeling career was more adventurous than her life in Baton Rouge. Excitement flowed through everything from the towering landscapes, wonderful opportunities, and especially in the form of handsome CEO Sean Wright. Dating him felt magical, until she meets and befriends his sister, Adrian, whose dance to the rhythm of revenge becomes a tune she’s hell-bent on sharing with her family and the people they love, including Jade.
In only a matter of weeks, Jade’s life takes an uncertain and dangerous turn. Nothing prepared her for the call that stirs emotions Jade thought she’d buried. The former governor of Louisiana has denied her existence since birth and now makes a life-altering request that fills Jade with resentment. Jade built her success and happiness by making hard choices, even ones that cause heartbreak. Unfortunately, she never imagined that any of those choices could lead to the death of someone she loves.
Jade soon learns in the game of life, sometimes playing double down and dirty is the only way to win.
Why did you decide to write it?
What’s funny is I didn’t initially set out to write this book. The book was supposed to be about Jade and her sister and their battles as total opposites, but the more I wrote, the more it sounded very familiar. Not that it was anything I’d read before, but I knew a book like that had to exist—it was too common for it not to—so I changed the story. I kept the storyline about the sister, but then I came up with a list of uncommon circumstances Jade could encounter that would make her life more interesting for the readers. Each chapter delivers another jaw-dropping “wow” and that’s what I needed. That’s how the idea for Double Down and Dirty was born.
What advice do you have for women juggling pursuing their dreams, having a career and taking care of a family?
My advice isn’t very original, and surely it’s something they’ve heard many times before, but it’s certainly worth saying again. Balance is the key to avoid insanity :). Know when to put work away and tune into your family, fully and uninterrupted. The time with them is precious and should be cherished. They’ll love you for it and will be more supportive of you pursuing your dreams.
What do you want readers to learn from Double Down and Dirty?
I want readers to learn that we’re all flawed, no matter how successful we become or how much money we make. There are so many people walking around wearing the mask of happiness, when on the inside they’re torn to pieces. You never know what the person you most admire is dealing with on a daily basis. On the outside Jade is living the ideal life. Her fans don’t know about the dark past she’s hiding and working hard to keep covered. I also want them to learn the power of forgiveness. A lot of these characters have messed up and have hurt the people they love. Now they find themselves working hard to be forgiven. More importantly, I want them to learn how to tune out the world and tune into a good book and just relax.
Who is your favorite established author and why?
I have so many favorite authors, but the author I’ve been a fan of the longest is Kimberla Lawson Roby. Kimberla is a master storyteller. She’s the person I tend to think about when I’m writing my own novels. She’s my inspiration.
Who is your favorite new author and why?
My favorite new author isn’t really new to the game but certainly new to me. Kennedy Ryan is my favorite new author. Kennedy has such a way with words. It’s like reading poetry. That’s how her words flow. I love it. She has taken up space next to Kimberla in my head as I write.
If you could have any profession other than being an author, what would it be?
I can honestly say that I’m doing it now. I’m an instructional specialist at an elementary school here in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I love my job. I love the people, and I’m head over heels in love with the children I see each day. My job is to work with the teachers to ensure that each child’s educational needs are being met. There’s something so satisfying about seeing an overjoyed teacher who tried a strategy you suggested and it worked. Her students got it! That makes me feel better than anything else.
What’s next for L.A. Lewis?
I’m working on a new novel, Wife Swap, and believe it or not, I’m also writing a script. I feel like God has increased my vision, and I’m very obedient. He’s opening doors left and right, and I’m so excited to walk right through them.
Do you have anything you would like to add?
I’d just like to take this time to thank you for your constant support. You could’ve reached out to anyone for this interview, but you chose me, and for that I’m very grateful.